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Aug 15, 2016
Devin

Seth Rollins to deconstruct The Demon King

After brazenly dismissing Finn Bálor’s face-painted alter ego as mere theatricality, Seth Rollins received an eerie history lesson from his SummerSlam opponent that changed the complexion of the first-ever WWE Universal Championship Match.

 

Claiming an ability to tap into supernatural powers greater than himself when “his limbs and his flesh are not enough,” Bálor affirmed that The Demon King will be waiting for Rollins at SummerSlam, where myth just might become a horrifying reality for The Architect.

 

Not willing to wait for SummerSlam next Sunday, Rollins aims to conjure The Demon King on Raw. Will he regret this decision?

Filed under: Monday Night Raw, Previews
Aug 8, 2016
Devin

Will Seth Rollins need to rethink his strategy?

 

Seth Rollins tried to use mind games to get under Finn Bálor’s skin this past Monday night, claiming that his WWE Universal Championship opponent at SummerSlam was nothing more than a cheap imitation of The Architect. However, Rollins wasn’t necessarily feeling like “The Man” moments later, when Bálor responded with swift kicks to the stomach and the skull that forced the former WWE World Champion to retreat up the ramp.

 

Rollins made a statement later in the night when he defeated Sami Zayn with a Pedigree, but something tells us that The Architect’s most recent encounter with Bálor left more of a lasting impression than Rollins is willing to admit.

Filed under: Monday Night Raw, Previews
Aug 1, 2016
Devin

Will Seth Rollins halt the rise of Finn Bálor?

On his first night as a Raw Superstar – and on his birthday, no less – Finn Bálor defeated three elite Superstars in a Fatal 4-Way Match, withstood the might of Roman Reigns and stood victorious at the end of the night, earning the right to face Seth Rollins in the first-ever WWE Universal Championship Match at SummerSlam.

 

WWE.com captured footage of Rollins witnessing Bálor’s main event victory over The Big Dog, and The Architect was uncharacteristically silent as the enigmatic Irishman celebrated. Does this quiet contemplation mean Rollins is confident about his upcoming clash with Raw’s hottest newcomer, or is he apprehensive about standing across the ring from Bálor? Expect to hear from Rollins this Monday night.

Filed under: Monday Night Raw, Previews
Jul 26, 2016
Devin

The new face of Raw will be decided Sunday, Aug. 21, at SummerSlam, when Finn Bálor and Seth Rollins compete to become the inaugural WWE Universal Champion.

 

The historic matchup — Bálor’s debut on WWE pay-per-view — was made official on July 25, the same night that Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon revealed plans to introduce the Universal Title. According to Raw management, the newly sanctioned championship will eventually outstrip SmackDown Live’s WWE Championship in importance.

 

Rollins, who was selected No. 1 overall in the WWE Brand Extension Draft, was entered into contention by Stephanie. The announcement came less than 24 hours after The Architect failed to win the WWE Championship from Dean Ambrose at WWE Battleground, though it was Roman Reigns — the other participant in the championship Triple Threat Match — that lost the deciding fall, not Rollins.

Filed under: Previews, WWE.com
May 26, 2016
Devin

As Finn Bálor stares down his Steel Cage Match against NXT Champion Samoa Joe, the challenger contemplates not just regaining NXT’s top prize, but also his role as locker room leader.

Finn Bálor was approaching an unprecedented 300-day reign as NXT Champion. Enter a fateful night in Lowell, Massachusetts, on April 21, and Bálor’s life took a dramatic turn. It was on that night that heated rival Samoa Joe defeated Bálor and captured the NXT Championship.

“It was definitely a feeling of surrealism,” Bálor revealed to WWE.com. “You tend to picture winning the championship. You always have the dreams and vision of how you are going to win, but you never imagine how you are going to lose. I remember feeling like an ant laying on the mat with Joe standing over me.

“I had the championship for 292 days, so that title became a part of me and who I was, and what I represented,” Bálor explained. “After all the hard work I put into NXT, and to suddenly wake up one day and realize that title, achievement and crown you’ve worked so hard for isn’t there, it forced me to start questioning my ability and whether or not I belonged.”

It seems only appropriate that Bálor will have a chance to rid himself of that doubt when he challenges Samoa Joe for the NXT Championship at NXT Takeover: The End… on June 8. Adding to those raised stakes is the fact that both men will compete for NXT’s most prized possession inside a steel cage.

“I realize the pressure is on and it’s gonna be a big match,” the challenger said. “This is my first time in the cage. I’m gonna be nervous going into it, but I work best under pressure. I thrive on nerves.”

History has shown that Bálor has indeed thrived in first-time scenarios. Last August, he successfully defended the NXT Championship in his first career Ladder Match against Kevin Owens.

“I’m going to have the same attitude I had in that Ladder Match,” Bálor insisted, “and I’m not going to leave anything behind.”.

To walk in Bálor’s shoes is to walk in the shoes of a man whose championship reign trailblazed a path on multiple levels, from winning the NXT Championship in Japan (where he solidified his international status as one of the top competitors in the world), to successfully defending it in London (where both family and friends were on hand to witness the stunning career growth of the Irish-born Superstar).

Yet perhaps most of all was the pride that Bálor had in leading the revolution that is NXT. “As NXT Champion, I was honored to lead the NXT expansion around the U.S. and internationally,” he said. “I loved being a role model – not just for our fans, but for everyone training at the WWE Performance Center, by leading NXT by example. It was a great opportunity that I took very seriously, and that’s what I consider one of the most important things about being a true champion.”

For now, however, the role of “true champion” is defined by the wrecking machine known as Samoa Joe. What kind of damage will Joe and Bálor inflict upon each other inside a steel cage? The answer most certainly involves brutality and aggression.

As for the former champion? His words toward the current titleholder are simple and direct: “The biggest thing Joe has to deal with is underestimating Finn Bálor.”

Filed under: Interview, Previews, WWE.com
Mar 31, 2016
Devin

NXT’s daredevil champion meets the blunt force of Samoa Joe at TakeOver: Dallas.

At long last, NXT Champion Finn Bálor’s challenger at NXT TakeOver: Dallas has been decided. Samoa Joe, the 282-pound submission specialist who pushed Bálor to the limit in London last December, will vie for the title again on Friday, April 1, live on WWE Network.

Joe emerged as the No. 1 contender after prevailing in a grueling series of bouts against Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn, which culminated when Joe defeated Zayn in a bitterly fought 2-out-of-3 Falls Match on March 9. Having powered through two of NXT’s finest, the battle-tested warrior looks ahead to challenging for NXT’s top accolade at a second consecutive Takeover event.

The blunt force of Joe’s strikes and soporific power of his Coquina Clutch nearly brought Bálor’s reign to an end in London. The ever-resilient Bálor survived Joe’s onslaught then, just as he has survived against every other challenger who has stepped his way, no matter the size, style or experience.

Yet, with Samoa Joe looking more intent than ever to prove himself as NXT’s top dog, will Bálor be displaced as champion on April 1? Or will The Demon come out in Dallas to silence the threat? Watch Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor go toe-to-toe for the prestigious NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Dallas, when it airs live on WWE Network Friday, April 1, at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Filed under: Previews, WWE NXT


 
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